By Joel Wittnebel/The Oshawa Express
It’s like deja vu.
For the second straight year, Oshawa has built its way to new heights, setting a trio of records for the highest total construction value, residential construction value and building permits issued in one year.
The city also set a new record for highest residential construction value for a single month when $96.6 million was generated in July. That month also marked the highest overall construction value on record for a single month with $114.9 million.
“We have an opportunity to transform the city of Oshawa into one of the most dynamic municipalities in Ontario,” says Councillor John Aker, chair of the development services committee.
In total, there was $558.7 million worth of construction in the city last year, with $454.4 million of that being residential construction. All the work created amounted to 1,956 building permits.
“We are blessed with a planning process that is proactive,” Aker says, adding the city is in a good place to start 2016.
“We have positioned ourselves well. We have a stream of approvals at various stages,” he says.
And while the numbers paint a good picture of growth in the city, Mayor John Henry says it’s about more than just numbers.
“It’s about the interest in this city from outside of Oshawa,” he says.
He attributes the high numbers to a combination of factors, including proximity to Toronto, the availability of land and the already established institutions here that are attracting developers, such as UOIT and Durham College.
“It’s all those things coming together,” he says. “I’m really excited about the future of Oshawa.”
There’s no question residential growth is ruling the day in Oshawa’s north end and it has only been accelerating in recent years, with the new record set in 2015 being $167.5 million more than the 2013 record.
The building boom resulted in 1,364 new residential units, including 733 detached dwellings, 385 new apartment units and 186 townhouse units.
Other major projects throughout the city include the $50-million mixed use apartment/commercial building at 100 Bond St. in Oshawa’s downtown core, a new $9.7-million elementary school on Coldstream Drive, as well as another $8.6 million elementary school on Grandview Street South, both owned by the Durham District School Board.
Oshawa has monthly building records dating back to 1975 and annual records as far back as 1963.